These words – casually attributed to Brigham Young – were uttered as the advance party of Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – LDS) crested the Wasatch Range and looked upon the eastern edge of the Great Basin and the Great Salt Lake. I spent an extended time in this valley, up against the snow-covered middle Rocky Mountains, mostly alone as Holly had flown east for Natalie’s baby shower, and to see friends and family.
Brigham Young’s words feel apt today, not just for the beauty of the valley, but for the abundance, respite and safety it offered. We felt the same as we crested US6 at Sheep’s Creek (no creek, no sheep) and descended into Spanish Fork and the other towns along the Wasatch Range. A similar pattern emerged: we were immediately drawn to small town people and places, but with a more nuanced and complex experience as I lingered. In total, though, I was eager to leave – and not merely in the vein of our usual wanderlust, but actually eager to leave.
In the ensuing weeks, we have traversed Idaho and part of Montana. And as I sit on the bank of the swollen Yellowstone River, I have no overarching sense of, well, anything, other than Wherever I Am Is The Place. For Brigham Young, the point was to seek, not to journey. That was his, and many’s downfall. Here are some images from our journey.
We’re here over a cold and rainy holiday weekend, frankly preoccupied with a few things. Some days the journey is like that. We’ll head east soon, and hope that the prevailing winds help Sandy’s mpg. We’re eager to see Jeffery, Bethany and Jamie in South Dakota and Jeff and Sarah in Minnesota. And of course, we are breathless waiting for a brand new person to arrive in Chicago.